By Keith Gushard

Meadville Tribune

A former Titusville teacher will avoid trial for an alleged sexual affair she had with a 14-year-old boy — if she accepts a plea offer.

At a pretrial conference Monday in Crawford County Court of Common Pleas, attorneys confirmed a plea offer has been extended to Rochelle Cressman, 33, but added negotiations continue.

Neither Stephen Colafella, her defense attorney, nor Paula DiGiacomo, first assistant district attorney for the county, would comment on the plea offer following Monday's hearing before Judge Mark Stevens.

No trial date has been set for the case due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, under an order issued Monday by Stevens, another pretrial conference will be scheduled in September.

Pennsylvania State Police arrested Cressman in May 2019, charging her in connection with a sexual affair with the student. Police allege Cressman, who was a Titusville Middle School gym teacher, initiated the affair.

Cressman is facing trial in Crawford County on a total of 66 counts for repeatedly sexually assaulting the teen. Police allege the affair was from Sept. 13, 2018 to April 2019, according to court documents.

The trysts between Cressman and the boy occurred at Cressman’s then-Spring Creek Road residence in Oil Creek Township as well as at a North Martin Street residence in Titusville, according to the arrest affidavit.

Cressman faces 10 counts each of statutory sexual assault and involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a person younger than 16 years old, and one count each of unlawful contact with a minor — sexual offenses, endangering the welfare of children and corruption of minors, all of which are felonies.

There also are 42 misdemeanor counts of indecent assault of a person younger than 16 and one misdemeanor count of terroristic threats.

Cressman had worked for Titusville Area School District as a health and physical education teacher from August 2009 until April 2019. Titusville School Board formally accepted her resignation at its May 20, 2019, meeting.

She remains free on $75,000 bond awaiting trial.

Keith Gushard can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at kgushard@meadvilletribune.com.

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